Blog

What Makes Routers Edge Specific Routers?

The purpose of this article is to identify the several kinds of edge routers that are now appearing on the market. Edge-specific routers must be able to handle the functionalities described below with ease.  Edge routers can serve in a number of different functions and be of a number of different types. Edge routers are located at the demarcation point between the edge network and a ...

Edge Computing Processors

Excerpted from CIR's upcoming report on Edge Computing Processors. Although edge computing has seen a lot of developments in recent years, it is not a new concept. “Content delivery networks” or “content distribution networks” (CDNs) have been around a long time. CDNs work in the same way as edge computing—a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers, with the goal to provide ...

POET Takes Co-Packaging Beyond Communications Markets

One of main predictions of CIR’s 2020 report on co-packaged optics (CPO) is that next-generation switching chips is just the beginning for CPO.  We took the position that CPO is essentially a new way to opto-electronic integration and that novel switching technology is just a place to start. With $15 million in recent funding, POET Technologies, one of the companies mentioned in our report has ...

Opportunities in the Edge Computing Software Segment

The edge computing software segment is expected to be one of the most rapidly growing and diverse segments within the entire edge computing market and it includes platform, AI and analytics, as well as supporting segments such as DCIM and edge OS. The platform, AI and analytics segments are three of the largest within the edge computing software space and are also the fastest growing. ...

Broadcom, Cisco, Inphi and the Timing for Co-Packaged Optics: A CIR Research Note

In the past few months two important announcements have been made showing different ways forward for the Co-Packaged Optics (CPO) business.  One of these announcements came from a duo of Cisco and Inphi. It shows perhaps a certain amount of caution about CPO.  For various reasons, Broadcom is a tad more optimistic.  However, announcements from three such important and prestigious companies show a solid confidence ...

Five Companies to Watch in the Edge Computing Space

Participants in the edge computing market include tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Dell EMC, Cisco, HPE and Intel. However, we are also witnessing newer players coming into the market with innovative edge-focused offerings, that are attracting capital from both independent venture capital firms and the venture arms of the biggest players. CIR believes that there will be a growing number of new companies ...

Edge Computing Platforms will Shape the Next Datacom Revolution

In much the way that the past decade in datacom was defined by video applications, the next decade will be defined by smart systems – self-driving cars, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and AI (very smart systems).  At the infrastructure level, what CIR thinks this will mean is that the priority will be low latency; the video revolution has mostly been about raw bandwidth.  This trend is creating ...

Edge Computing Routers – A New Product Trend

Edge computing routers are an integral part of the edge computing infrastructure but have received less attention from major supplier who remain largely focused on traditional routers.  In many current implementations of edge computing, fairly standard routers are being use but we expect that this will change. Traditional and core routers are not intended to handle loads of data created by edge devices (IIoT devices).  ...

Equipment and Chip Opportunities Emerge from Edge Computing in 2021

Edge computing (EC) embodies an old and simple idea – siphon of traffic with special characteristics from the main network to a local network.  The primary network now has more capacity for general traffic while the local network can be designed specifically for the needs of local users.  The newer concepts of edge computing are expected to do the “compute” or analysis as close as ...

Co-Packaged Optics: Of Form Factors and Future Fights

Co-packaged optics (CPO) is flavor of the month right now; the question is, what kind of CPO?   There will surely be different form factors for data centers and telecommunications, and interconnects, sensors, and supercomputing. But there will also be different form factors proposed for CPO for within the data center. Based on recent presentations by leading firms, we already have some idea what these formats ...

Open Questions on Co-Packaging Standardization

The Co-Packaging Framework IA (Implementers Agreement) effort just announced by the OIF is a strong endorsement for co-packaging; a technology platform whose star is in the ascendant. Co-packaging was – as recently as two years ago -- considered a futuristic platform, but much attention has been brought to it as the hyperscale data center managers start thinking seriously about the optical engines that will take ...

Big Firms Back Co-Packaged Optics

Co-packaged optics is the ultimate direction for the long-touted “optical integration” meme. In theory, co-packaged optics wraps up active optics and active electronics wrapped to avoid the thermal/power inefficiencies inherent in conventional approaches to high-speed optoelectronics. A few years back when CIR investigated which technology platforms would take data centers into the 400/800G era, we were told pluggables would persist for a while, then would ...

Why Do We Need 800G?

In 2020 as the first widescale deployments of 400G are taking place in data centers, the industry is already thinking of 800G networking and beyond. Three technologies are being proposed to support 800G interfaces. One of these is a pluggable option, much like 400G transceivers and the transceivers that preceded 400G.  The other two are more radical than 800G pluggable.  They promise to take high-speed ...

The Future of 400G AOCs in the Data Center

This year was supposed to be the big one for 400G.  Switches based on12.8T ASICs with a capacity of 32 x 400G ports were released in 2019, potentially enabling significant deployments of 400G in the data center in 2020.  Service providers have been experimenting with 200G, 400G and 600G modules for about seven years, but these earlier implementations were often proprietary and deployment was measured ...

The Remote PHY Strategy in the Cable TV Industry

The origins of most recent technological innovation in networking can be traced back to the growing need for bandwidth and this in turn to the demand for streamed video, multiple IP devices in homes, etc. Starting almost a decade ago, MSOs began to consider Converged Cable Access Platforms (CCAP) as a way to replace edge QAM and CMTS units with a single platform that better ...

25G for 5G: An Emerging Market for 25G Networks in the Mobile Infrastructure

Optical fiber in cellular infrastructure was first deployed in the 80s -- much the same time that fiber was also creeping into wireline networks for the first time. Then as now, the primary driver for fiber deployment was bandwidth demand, which will soon take a great leap forward as 5G cellular replaces the 4G generations of cellular technology. What is being proposed with 5G is ...

Paths to the Data Center Upgrade

At last year’s ECOC trade show and conference, much of talk at the conference sessions was about the replacement of 100G by 200/400G transceivers.  However, when one talked to end-users walking the show floor, a different story emerged heard.  Most data center managers whose job it typically is to oversee the smooth functioning of medium-sized data centers are not yet that much concerned with 400G ...

5G Fronthaul Network Suppliers Showcasing Products at OFC, Market Forecasts Published by CIR

5G Fronthaul Network Suppliers Showcasing Products at OFC, Market Forecasts Published by CIR The fronthaul portion of 5G infrastructure carries data from the baseband units to remote radio head. According to CIR’s report Optical Networking Opportunities in the 5G Infrastructure Market 2019-2028, the 5G fronthaul will result in new revenues for both cable and equipment makers. Previous generations of mobile telephony could rely on copper ...

Business Opportunities Abound in Global 5G Network Infrastructure Market

CIR has just issued a new report on the global 5G network infrastructure market.  This blog discusses a few points from the study. As with the previous generations of mobile technology, 5G mobile will take a great leap forward in terms of the services it can support.  In the case of 5G, the claim is that for the first time a mobile platform will be ...

C-RAN: Some Opportunities for Chip Makers?

The CIR team has recently returned from the OFC trade show where much fuss was made about the opportunities for fiber optics in the 5G infrastructure and C-RAN. CIR has also just published a report on “C-RAN Deployment: Market Opportunity Analysis – 2018 and Beyond,” in which we also extol the revenue potential of the coming 5G “revolution.” CIR believes that C-RAN opportunities are all ...